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Sequin | 06:00 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Good morning,
We welcome your views on what you think should be in the programme, so why not drop your ideas in here, and we can include them in our discussion at our morning meeting at 11am. Many thanks,



  • 1. At 08:48am on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    The economics of the government's proposed feed-in tariffs are worth exploring ...


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  • 2. At 08:50am on 02 Mar 2010, Galahad wrote:

    The absurdity of Murdoch's complaints about 'free' BBC output unfairly stifling the private news sector becomes obvious if we imagine them being applied to other sectors:

    "The NHS's insistence on supplying free healthcare is unfair to organisations attempting to make a profit from people's illnesses", claimed a BUPA spokesman.

    "It's impossible to make a decent living providing protection services for local shopkeepers when the police are constantly present and providing effective protection for free", stated Don Corlioni.

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  • 3. At 09:01am on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    "Leap year bog hits games consoles"


    Apart from the spelling mistake - I thought this sort of bug had been sorted a long time ago?

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  • 4. At 09:01am on 02 Mar 2010, Galahad wrote:

    Tory spokespeople have attempted to deflect concern about Lord Ashcroft's non-dom status by pointing out that other non-doms such as Lord Paul provide funding for the Labour and Lib Dem parties.
    There are three differences in Lord Ashcroft's case, however:
    1. Other non-dom Peers have never made a secret of their status.
    2. Lord Ashcroft is the only non-dom Peer who provided assurances regarding his future residential/tax status in order to receive his peerage.
    3. Lord Ashcroft's central role in Conservative affairs (including directly employing many Tory workers) is very different from that of other non-doms.

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  • 5. At 09:11am on 02 Mar 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    The earthquakes in Chile and Haiti have, obviously, brought this phenomenon to the forefraont of our attention but did you know that as of 09:00am there were 350 recorded earthquakes in the last week?


    There's some fascinating stuff there to read as this planet tears itself into pieces before our very eyes!

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  • 6. At 09:11am on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The pound is falling because markets are worried about a hung Parliament.

    Hang on, the pound falling is what is going to lead to an export led boom, isn't it?

    Does that make a hung Parliament a good thing then.

    No, what it does is make further nonsense of Merve's Diseasing policy.

    The idea is to persuade foreign holders of UK debt to continue to hold it, by supporting its value by... buying it up.

    Well, you may say, what about the inflation that a falling pound causes, eh?

    But more inflation - the acceptable level of 2 per cent rather than the 0 per cent to which it had fallen, was one of the aims of Diseasing.

    That, plus making the rich richer via a boom in Ftse stocks that is totally divorced from the real economy, seem to be the only effects of Merve easing.

    Of course, the inflation Merve seeks IS a purely monetary one, designed to shift the 'wage - profit' bargain towards profit.
    It's a naive policy cos in real terms our 'wages' will buy less.

    An exchange rate readjustment is a far better incentive to genuine investment (as opposed to share inflation)

    But that is what Merve has been resisting in practice.

    The harmful effects of import inflation are best settled by redistributive policies.

    How Merve persuaded Darling diseasing was a good idea, goodness knows.

    Probably through the usual Oxbridge tyrannies and the fact that poor old Darling is no economist.

    These days every possible sort of reason for the policy is given, none of them hold water. As for 'trickle-down' effects (the rich getting so much richer they leave bigger tips in restaurants) that is a policy that even Reagan and Thatcher had to admit didn't work. The rich just use the money to stoke up the speculative bubbles even further.
    Had Merve fessed up that that was his Diseasing idea, Darling would have scotched it from the off

    So, contention:
    Quantitative Easing is a lousy policy that never should have been embarked on.

    Peston, Flanders, Nils, that bloke from IFS, that other bloke from Capital Economics, George O., Saint Vincent, McFall 'n' all would have a view on it, and it IS costing us 200 billion and rising (by at least 50 billion of Merve's extra dollop)
    You might even get Darling to tell us what good he thinks it does.

    Pressing quessy or what?

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  • 7. At 09:15am on 02 Mar 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    1/ So what is wrong with keeping your tax status private? PS I believe Lord Cohen's tax status is not clear, believed to be a non-dom, but the BBC and Labour don’t seem to be to anxious to investigate it.

    2/Only because the Labour Government were tying to make the Conservative party's life as difficult as possible. At the time the boast from Labour was to destroy the Conservative party, a rich donor prepared to help the Conservative party in their hour of need was definately not part of the Labour plan.

    3/ So what? There is no state law to say what party officials can be employed by a party.

    Labour's complaint is that Ashcroft has set up a very professional campaigning unit, but of course they can't complain about that, so they go after Ashcroft's tax status.

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  • 8. At 09:17am on 02 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Dear Team PM,
    With the World Cup competition only 100 days to go can you check that preparations are well in hand.
    We need to know if there is going to be adequate supplies of England Flags and other memorabilia.

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  • 9. At 09:18am on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Message to Eddie in rehab

    Cheer up, matey. There are days when the whole of the universe can seem like a coincidence

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  • 10. At 09:20am on 02 Mar 2010, Galahad wrote:

    Whenever BBC reporters are asked to send reports from anywhere outside the M25, they always begin their reports by channeling Judith Chalmers...

    "It's a beautiful crisp morning here and I can see some lovely trees in the distance, but local people are of course focusing on the impact of the closure of the Corus plant."

    Do ALL your reporters live in a dungeon in central London, never before seeing a tree or feeling the wind on their faces?

    If they insist on introducing "provincial" news in this manner for the benefit of your London-based listeners, can they please provide the same courtesy for us country bumpkins? Eg.:

    "The rain is sheeting down here at Canary Wharf and I can see some sad-looking pigeons in the distance. I'm here to talk to financial managers about the latest stock market news."

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  • 11. At 09:25am on 02 Mar 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    Lord Paul – £69,250 in donations to Labour, including £45,000 to Gordon Brown’s leadership campaign. A close friend of Gordon Brown and appointed to the Privy Council last summer, he has admitted to being non-dom.

    Lakshmi Mittal - £4.125 million in donations to Labour.

    Sir Ronald Cohen - £2.55 million in donations to Labour. Cohen was appointed chair of the Social Investment Taskforce, which was announced by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

    Sir Christopher Ondaatje - £1.7 million in donations to Labour.

    Sir Gulam Noon - £532,826 in donations to Labour.

    William Bollinger - £510,725 in donations to Labour.

    Mahmoud Khayami - £985,000 in donations to Labour including £5,000 to Hazel Blears’ deputy leadership campaign. He has helped bankroll two flagship schools, one of which Gordon Brown opened, and was personally thanked for a donation by Tony Blair.

    Dr David Potter - £90,000 in a donation to Labour. He has previously delivered a lecture at Downing Street.

    Over £10million to Labour from non-doms but to the BBC it's just not a news story.

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  • 12. At 09:25am on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    Make your own mistakes, don't rely on mine.

    (This is a DMcN-approved comment)

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  • 13. At 09:27am on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    Not even that one, which should be on yesterday's PM thread.

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  • 14. At 09:29am on 02 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    11. IMOORE
    However these are peanuts compared to Ashcrofts "donations" plus Ashcroft is not the only donor to the Tories.

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  • 15. At 09:33am on 02 Mar 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    " However these are peanuts compared to Ashcrofts "donations" "

    Ascrofts donations are less than 1% of Conservative funds for this year. Ascrofts donations haven't represented more than 5%.

    Ascroft is a big bogey man for Labour, they and their supporters have come to believe their own hype about him.

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  • 16. At 09:34am on 02 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    10. Galahad
    Ah those London based reporters! Their lack of understanding of us in the North Home counties.

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  • 17. At 09:37am on 02 Mar 2010, Galahad wrote:


    It's clear that all parties have received extensive financial support from wealthy non-doms. Most, however, are open and frank about this. In public life there is always a risk that a lack of openness will be interpreted as having something to hide - and in this respect Lord Ashcroft's previous insistence that his tax status was a personal affair was a tactical error.

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  • 18. At 09:56am on 02 Mar 2010, IMOORE wrote:


    Agreed, but that is not how the BBC has chosen to report this .

    Last night the BBC led the news on the story, ITV didn't they put it well down the list. Channel 4 also led the news on it, but that put a bit of balance in their reports showing other parties failings.

    This morning the Today program has banged on about it 3 or 4 times, interestingly they have changed the editorial line on the story switching the emphasis to Cameron's judgement from Ashcroft’s tax status, which is very similar to Labour's switch.

    In a google search I did, an interesting story appeared, where a FOI request from Ashcroft established Labour had some 3,000 bits of information on him, this they were using to keep the story alive in left wing newspapers , but may be not just left wing newspapers but the BBC as well. Well the Guardian is the BBC's bible.

    A parting shot by Michael Gove on Newsnight last night was to ask if the BBC was going to go after Labour politicians about their non-doms, Kirtsy Wark, a friend of the Labour party, wasn't too clear if she or they would .

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  • 19. At 10:08am on 02 Mar 2010, Galahad wrote:

    Bur surely the important question of the day is whether the singing group Sugababes should continue to use the name now their founder and all the original members have left. Should they now be called the "Homeopathic Sugababes" (conains no trace of the originals, but has a memory of their presence)?

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  • 20. At 10:09am on 02 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    How will the BBC proposed cuts affect this Blog? That's one question that I think everyone here will want answered today, Sequin - Perhaps you can pursue this one for us? ;o)

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  • 21. At 10:23am on 02 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    I suspect there will be more about this story today:


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  • 22. At 10:43am on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Another biggie:


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  • 23. At 10:48am on 02 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Yes, Sid, I heard him speaking on Today - it will be very interested to see how this is received.

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  • 24. At 11:28am on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    22. Sid - what kept him? Does it really take this long for 'Islamic scholars' to decide that blowing up innocent people is haram?

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  • 25. At 11:30am on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    21. Big Sister - Jan Moir may have something to say about it.

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  • 26. At 11:34am on 02 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    25: I sincerely hope she keeps her counsel this time.

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  • 27. At 12:09pm on 02 Mar 2010, Bob Carey wrote:

    "But surely the important question of the day is whether the singing group Sugababes..."

    Nope, it's whether the Tories' latest slogan will be believed or not, as the phrase, 'being short-changed again' springs to mind, as well as 'recession re-run.'

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  • 28. At 12:31pm on 02 Mar 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    24 The article says; "Although many scholars have made similar rulings in the past"

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  • 29. At 12:38pm on 02 Mar 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    2. I was moved to similar thoughts, sitting here being told that BBC services must go as;

    1) They are overwhelming commercial services.
    2) Nobody is listening to them.

    I'd very much have appreciated it if any of the coverage so far today had asked the various press barons actually to make the case; why private enterprise is the supreme value. Since this question does not seem to have occurred to any BBC interviewer, perhaps PM can consider this simple request? Then we can at least say that the BBC undertakes public service and asks questions the commercial services will ignore.

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  • 30. At 12:52pm on 02 Mar 2010, Redheylin wrote:


    a) TV should be banned - it decimated the cinema industry. (Many cinemas were then converted to supermarkets, which decimated local shopping).

    b) Public libraries should go - very bad for Waterstone's.

    c) Public sports grounds are wrecking opportunities for commercial sports facilities.

    d) The NHS.... etc.

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  • 31. At 12:55pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    A balance of payments deficit is paid for by payments out of reserves or the issue of debt. We haven't got any reserves and Merve sold the gold.

    Our currency IS presently maintained in that intervention keeps it off a pre-determined floor.

    In the very short run our currency depreciating makes the Balance of Trade worse because import prices go up, export prices go down and no one has time to adjust.

    After that, with exports up, and imports down, and the BoT narrowing we SHOULD be asking the world to hold less debt.

    Particularly so, if, after the currency crash/adjustment net capital inflows are restored (they are falling now, outflows rising, because agents are protecting their money against further sterling depreciation and banksters are speculating)

    Note that this is a PRIVATE SECTOR problem. The debt arises from us, you and me, importing too much. Calling it GOVERNMENT debt is rich!!

    (It is only in the technical sense that other countries' authorities approach ours with sterling, demanding currency, gold or profitable debt to hold. But it is a debt added to by every Chinese toy you buy your (grandchildren) without selling some whisky abroad)

    The cheap con arises when we sell them debt we have issued to WAGE WAR in Afghanistan.

    Another cheap con is to crash the currency so that all we owe abroad, denominated in pounds as it is, loses value - gets cheaper to repay.

    Inflation is another con. Debt is denominated nominally.

    So, is this pound fall good news? It'll stop us finding imported stuff so cheap.

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  • 32. At 12:56pm on 02 Mar 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    Course, you're still all overpaid.

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  • 33. At 1:01pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Merve appears to be a Lib Dem supporter.

    He must be working for a hung Parliament. It spooks the markets and the pound crashes.

    Which is what should have happened anyway, but for Merve's 200 billion Diseasing spending spree

    Merve's policy NEEDS a hung Parliament and the uncertainty that Lib Dem hands on the tiller create ,with Cable dithering as he did over the Mansion Tax, and as Clegg has over the Peoples Pension, Old People's Care etc.

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  • 34. At 1:10pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    We are going to get 2.5 billion in tax from banksters' bonuses (via bank counterparts and direct tax).

    But to inflate the markets for htem to make the sort of money that nets that amount of tax, COST US


    of Mervyn's Diseasing money.

    You think I bang on about him and his omniscient attitudes too much here?

    Comrades, the sin is not one of commission by me, but one of OMISSION, the failure of us all to kick him out and wise Darling up.

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  • 35. At 1:32pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    I'd say that blaming the Lib Dems is grasping at straws. I wonder how many of us will have the opportunity to vote for the Khmer Rouge?

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  • 36. At 1:55pm on 02 Mar 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    You forget, Sid, that as far as EtE is concerned, it is the duty of every generation to do the exact opposite of the previous one, irrespective of skill-set (they don't exist, apparently), aptitude (ditto), or aspiration (wanting to improve your lot through your own hard work is obviously a BIG no-no!). Obviously the NKR (new Khmer Rouge) will be led by those who "know what's best" for us all, and anyone who disagrees will be forced out into the fields to dig potatoes. Isn't it strange how those who propose systems like this are never the ones who end up lower down the ladder. They always end up as the "advisory council" (or whatever they end up being called) because, of course, they know what's best for us all....

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  • 37. At 1:58pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Indeed, FF. It must be such a burden, knowing what's best for the rest of us and not being able to do anything about it ...

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  • 38. At 2:10pm on 02 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    36. Fearless Fred & Sid

    I know that EtE takes alot of mockery regarding his "Off the Wall" ideas, but although I served an apprenticeship during the 60's and because in those days apprenticeships lasted untill age 21. Unfortunatly for me I was 21 at the start of 1971 and my employer lost their government help (Tory short termism). I was looking for a job in early 1971 and I went to Vauxhall motors, at the time they needed production workers, not electronics technicians. So I spent 2 and a half years working on the production line. I can assure you that I learnt a lot from the other workers. Although I was brought up very much working class it was only by working on the line that I truely understood my father and the working class.
    Eventually I returned to electronics and had a physically easier life.
    We all could learn a lot by experiencing that sort of job and life.

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  • 39. At 2:27pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    30. Redheylin

    I note increasingly the casual use of the word decimate to mean kill off or otherwise wipe out. The meeja do it increasingly, and I heard it used twice yesterday evening; apparently the earthquake has decimated Chile.

    If you examine the word it might occur that it comes from Latin, and it means to kill one in every ten [that's the dec part], and it applied to the killing of mutineers in Roman armies where one in ten were executed. It still means the same.

    I suppose it could be applied to cinemas if one in ten were closed, although it's more appropriate to use it for people, but hardly for 'shopping', too nebulous a term to have any meaning in this context.

    Ignorance seems to be copied more thoroughly than learning these days. The incidence of perticuly in the media being a prime example.

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  • 40. At 2:28pm on 02 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    I agree, Looternite, about the value of what you say. I'm sure there are many on the Blog (and I'm amongst them) who haven't always been white collar workers. I've also lived in significant poverty, and learnt a lot from that time.

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  • 41. At 2:30pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Looternite - I don't know why you assume that I have never done any 'physical' work (FF will speak for himself). I don't doubt that we can all learn from each other. What some of us find so hard to take from EtE is his regular and utter failure to explain how his utopia will work. (His big idea is not that we can all learn from each other, as you describe, but that we should all have to do jobs dictated by what our parents did.)

    EtE also promotes majoritarian electoral systems (our current first-past-the-post is one such, and most people now think it's passed its sell-by date) and sneers at a system which would give us a fairer representation of MPs in parliament.

    All political parties have their faults (some bigger than others) but at least they operate in the real world, not some Cambodian fantasy.

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  • 42. At 2:36pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Looternite - just as a matter of interest, what FF wrote @ 36 is not actually mockery - it's a pretty accurate summary of the ideal EtE is aiming for. No doubt he will clear up any minor errors himself.

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  • 43. At 2:42pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    DD @ 39 If you consult the OED, you will find the original meaning you refer to transferred thus: "4. transf. a. To kill, destroy, or remove one in every ten of. b. rhetorically or loosely. To destroy or remove a large proportion of; to subject to severe loss, slaughter, or mortality." I'm with you in spirit - but our language changes and there is little we can do about it.

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  • 44. At 3:00pm on 02 Mar 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Hi Looternite - While most of my career has been in the electronics industry, I can certainly say that the year I spent on the dole back in the early nineties during the last recession, the jobs in shops, production lines, offies, etc. allied to the two periods of redundancy I've been through as I try to keep my have certainly helped to expand my view on the world. But, as Sid has pointed out. EtE's "ideal" world is one in which people are forced into a job that is dictated by some unknown guiding group (let's call them the Powers That Be for want of a better phrase), with the jobs allocated based off some idea of what our parents didn't do.

    This was tried one before in Cambodia in the 1970s, and we all know how well that turned out for the people of Cambodia...

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  • 45. At 3:10pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:


    How many of us have been offended and inconvenienced by Security Guards that get ideas above their station because of their uniform?

    So we have a govt. that fabricates fiction to justify illegal invasions, prop up puppets like Karzai and MPs that fiddle their expenses and a tattoo is deemed offensive?

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  • 46. At 3:17pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Our troops are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq so the fashion police can rule Britannia?

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  • 47. At 3:22pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    The upside of Radio 6 going is digital radio will be dead in the water?

    Where's the benefit to me in throwing away half a dozen perfectly sensible analogue radios?

    I was sat in an 09 reg car yesterday. I listened to Radio 2, Radio 4 and Radio 1. How many car radios will be made redundant by Digital Radio?

    What is the 'killer app' of radio?

    Analogue radio does all we want radio to do. Do I really need a scrolling display telling me what's being broadcast on R4 as I drive along?

    If the BBC want to save some money they drop the £Millions they're spending on Digital Radio propaganda.

    It's an iPM election service question. What will the Tories and Lib Dems do about Digital Radio?

    The Digital Radio 'Killer App'? That's freeing up spectrum that the government can then try and sell, leaving us to spend money buying new Digital Radios and throwing away countless perfectly good analogue receivers.

    Digital Radio? The benefit is?

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  • 48. At 3:33pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:


    So our troops are risking life and limb in Snatch Land Rovers to protect our freedoms?

    Lets see Bob Ainsworth sticking up for our patriotic police throwing their weight around because someone is holding a camera?

    Having watched Generation Jihad could it be that we have more terrorists in the UK in uniform and on the taxpayer pay roll than teenagers taken in by mad mullahs?

    iPM election service? Where do the Lib Dems and Tories stand on the police persecution of people holding cameras?

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  • 49. At 3:37pm on 02 Mar 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Lepus (47) I'm with you on the issue of analogue radios in cars. Are we all serioulosy expected to replace the built-in radios we all have in our cars with digital ones? Even cars being sold now will have analogue radios in them in a vast majority of cases. The idea of switching off the analogue signal now would be wasteful in the extreme. It's not like TVs, where existing sets could be converted to digital by means of an external box. Instead, we're all going to be expected to throw away perfectly good radios if we switch to digital only? Imagine the sudden waste mountain that'll be created...

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  • 50. At 3:47pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    It sounds like we need Big Bob on:


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  • 51. At 3:50pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Jack Straw?

    What was he on lastnight?

    'It's not us saying Ashcroft is out of order hiding his tax statues while giving Squillions to the Tories - it's an independent body'.

    Jack, the EU told you the DNA harvesting and retention policy is out of order?

    Have you fixed it? They're independent. You just ignored them!

    So your 'They're independent' point is invalid.

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  • 52. At 4:28pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    Living in significant poverty for a while isn't doing a proper job for 50 years (Please see below).


    The markets and the banksters worried about a hung Parliament?

    I should coco!

    With a hung Parliament you'd have Cameron rampant shouting about 'Going the extra mile!'
    You'd have the Lib Dems dithering
    You'd have a protracted and painful leadership contest (Brown holding on versus Harman versus Miliband versus Darling versus Johnson) in the LAbour Party

    The result: the financial sector with its friend Mervyn at the bank would run amok.

    After a year of it, some hedge fund conglomerate backed by banksters would own half the BBC, the unemployment queue would be from here to there and back again and prices would rise like a tsunami out of the sea.

    The finance boys would love it!

    No, what they're really worried about is Labour getting back in and using emergency powers to control the finance industry.

    Poor old Sid!

    The First Past the Post system is NOT majoritarian.

    Three candidates, x, y and a.

    100 voters.

    46 find x best, a second best y third best

    44 find y best, a second best, x third.

    10 find a best and x or y second best.

    FPTP gives the seat to x.

    But in pairwise comparison a beats x by 54 to 46 and a beats y by 56 to 44.

    FPTP isn't majoritarian, but neither are the systems of PR Sid says he believes in.

    Pairwise comparison is the method.

    In my approach for the above example, people who voted xPaPy would get a 46 per cent representation in hte elected Chamber, those for whom yPaPx would get 44 per cent of the seats and the remaining 10 per cent of seats would go to those who found 'a' best, distributed among them according to whether they also found xPy or yPx or found those two alternatives equally (un)satisfactory.

    Then the voting in the Chamber would be by.....PAIRWISE COMPARISON and a's programme would be adopted.

    (Under Single Transferable Vote the a votes would be divided between x and y and whoever then was ahead would get the seat. That is anti-majoritarian.
    Under a quota system, say for two seats (quota 33.3 votes) x and y would get a seat each, a, none. That is anti-majoritarian.

    With three seats they, a, x and y get one each

    With four seats either x or y gets two, the other of them gets one as does a.
    These methods are not majoritarian. a is NOT the clear winner in the Chamber with four seats. It doesn't win under pairwise comparison in the Chamber either.

    Other examples show how the quota sytem, NO MATTER THE NUMBER OF SEATS, is anti-majority rule.


    You two must tell me about all the harm done to Hilda Gibson by her working in the Land Army and why it is OK for Princess Anne to swab out stables all day
    ('She's a girl, isn't she!!')
    but not all right to say she should have been working in a factory for the last 30 years.

    Do let me know on what grounds it should be the any man who has, rather than Princess Anne.


    Don't forget too, you two that I believe in equal pay and wealth too.

    Sid usually trots that out as a smoke screen whenever some Lib Dem nonsense is otherwise clearly visible to everyone he is trying to impress.

    So, about benefit levels for everyone, after we make 10 per cent overall available for 'making poverty history' (remember that) and 10 per cent for saving hte planet from the ravages of climate change.
    I even believe we can save Bangladesh.


    Don't worry FF, the company at the salt mine will be excellent when the Khymer take over. Barons and earls. Toffs and toffesses.
    You might even get a surface job.

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  • 53. At 4:32pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Are we sure the sun isn't fiercer these days than it was 20 years ago?

    Is it just ageing eyes and skin that make it seem so?

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  • 54. At 4:34pm on 02 Mar 2010, Matt Watkinson wrote:

    Six Music's impending death further underlines my suspicion that, as the rock band Steely Dan sing : You wouldn't know a diamond if you held it in your hand." The BBC never found or even nurtured a potential successor to the late John Peel (a difficult task but that's what Directors General are supposed to do, get their thinking caps on) and now the only arm of the Corporation that could have filled the gap even a wee bit, is to go. Why couldn't they put Radio 7 on the Internet as an Archive Only, Access On Demand service? I bet I know what music Mark Thompson listens to...it'll be rubbish.

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  • 55. At 4:44pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    From the clips on Newsniught last night, Jones the Climate Changer didn't stand up well so it seemed yesterday in Parliament

    You know what I think the problem is?

    If you went into over population studies you'd know it was a minefield from the start. Similarly nuclear technology.

    But anyone starting in climate change up to the early 80s, so in their 50s now, would have started when the planet was supposed to be icing up.

    I see them as like those blokes in Big Bang Theory who have somehow hit on a cold fusion method. They are suddenly riding the wild horse of an extraordinary discovery. They need a sort of Max Clifford institution behind them.

    Most professions expecting controversy have such a body built in. Climatologists don't, yet.

    It's so very hard for them cos they are right against all the original odds.

    I'm sure a good few of us posters here think we know the feeling.

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  • 56. At 4:46pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    I would have thought losing one in ten of the population was pretty devastating.
    That's why the Romans did it

    The Germans too.

    We tended to favour a higher percentage.

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  • 57. At 4:54pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    43. Sid - How appalling; we now live in a world where ignorance is valued over learning, where the anti-scientific denying science's conclusions are treated by the media as if they have a valid point of view, and the uneducated dictate to dictionaries the meaning of words. If the ignorant spent more time reading dictionaries, there might be less need for marking the 'changes' in the meaning of words. Perhaps perticuly and deteriate will find their way into the OED eventually as part of our changed [I prefer dumbed down] language.

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  • 58. At 4:57pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Anyone who wants to know about majoritarian electoral systems:


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  • 59. At 4:59pm on 02 Mar 2010, Fifi wrote:

    A bit late for this morning's glass box but...

    While I'm thrilled that the issue of violence is at last bringing the chronically grim state of the UK's mental health care system to light for wider discussion ... I can't help feeling the real point is being missed.

    In my experience as a carer of someone with either bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder (various teams can't quite agree) whose destructive tendencies are invariably turned in against himself rather than against other people...

    * emergency teams do 'assessments' at crisis point - but if the patient has self-medicated with alcohol they use this as excuse not to do so
    * quality of assessments varies hugely - in one case a doctor who didn't speak English did a swift 'assessment', didn't listen to my friend's other carer during it, and didn't refer the patient on
    * patient notes aren't passed on, and more often than not the next professional in the chain of buck-passing is on holiday when you need them (with nobody covering their workload of course)
    * A&E becomes the place of last resort when the spiral gets too bad - and they are not allowed to treat someone who says they don't want treatment. Nobody will take responsibility for Sectioning a patient who's clearly in dire straits if alcohol has muddied the underlying issue
    * while all this goes on, the DfES uses every dirty trick in the book to avoid paying the patient any Benefits even though they clearly can't work and in some cases can barely function at all without help

    Those who are quite rightly being featured in the media are the small minority whose lack of care and monitoring leads to violence against others. That is tragic and should have been addressed way back when the policy of Care in the Community became accepted best practice.

    (Even back then, in the 1980s, a work colleague's elderly mother in law came off her meds because her 92 year old husband could not make her take them and the mental health care team 'wouldn't' make her... and she threw herself into the River Tyne.)

    What we have now is Don't Care In The Community.

    ...not that I'm bitter or anything.

    PLEASE will somebody catch this loose thread and tie it into the bigger tapestry? It's not ALL about violence. But if you sort the problems that allow the violence to happen, you would sort an awful lot of other knock-on difficulties as well.

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  • 60. At 5:02pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    53. ExpectingtheEnd - yes it is hotter, remember the ozone hole? It hasn't gone away just because the media lack concentration on any but trivial issues.




    Of course the anti-science denialistas dispute this too; it was all a hoax apparently, so the burning sensation you feel from the sun in the middle of winter is your imagination, even those of us who remember what winter sun felt like thirty years ago.

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  • 61. At 5:02pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    'The BBC can't do everything'?

    Well stop wasting our money pushing Digital Radio!

    Analogue radio works. If it aint broke.......

    Why is taxpayers money and that of BBC licence payers being squandered pushing Digital radio, something that offers minimal improvement over Analogue radio?

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  • 62. At 5:07pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    BBC Radio 6 and new music? Well play more new music on Radio 1?

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  • 63. At 5:13pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    Once again, why should the BBC be broadcasting a divisive, separatist Asian service as if they are different from the rest of Britain sequin? Or were you putting the PC multicultural line? Asians in Britain should be integrating, they should be British and celebrate British culture. Otherwise, why are they here? Do they not wish to be British? Do they wish to live elsewhere?
    Why not an African Service, A European Service? There's probably enough Americans here for an American Service even.

    Why Asian? Is it because they are most vociferous and the BBC has suffered entryism?

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  • 64. At 5:17pm on 02 Mar 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    "why should the BBC be broadcasting a divisive, separatist Asian service "

    Yes it is essentially a racist radio station, in fact you might say the BBC with the Asian network is a flag carrier for apartheid politics. Looking at the presenters I note there is a certain racial purity about them, no diversity permitted there.

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  • 65. At 5:17pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    I did wonder about that Radio 4 piece about how British Indians no longer have the pick of Indian brides in India due to the freefalling British economy and because standards of living have risen in India. It's like Indians can only wed Indians?

    Perhaps it was content sharing from the World Service?

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  • 66. At 5:18pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    DD - shall we abolish Radio 3? (It broadcasts an awful lot of middle-class white muisc.)

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  • 67. At 5:19pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    Looting, a subject the media, from the comfort of their rich, western life, think is a crime along with the armed police.

    Shattered shops contain damaged goods, and food that will go off. Is it really preferable that it is all trashed rather than the poor get something for nothing? Is it seen as dangerous for the poor to just help themselves from rubbish?

    They are scavenging. For those [sequin] who have never experienced hardship, it must be difficult to get their heads round scavenging for basics. These people have lost everything, yet the western media bang on about looting as if it's the worst crime imaginable, and not just people surviving any way they can.

    Shame on you rich, self satisfied folk.

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  • 68. At 5:20pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lord Elpus wrote:

    There is a rumour going about that if the Torys win the election. David Cameron is coing to give the BBC to Rupert Murdock as a reward for his support.

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  • 69. At 5:21pm on 02 Mar 2010, bright-eyedwendym wrote:

    I think it's odd that Carolyn asked if 'political pressure' was causing BBC savings. Hasn't it occured to anyone that since the amount of money the BBC bosses have paid themselves, the outrageous expenses they've claimed and the building programmes they've initiated have become public knowledge they might - just might- feel some shame?

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  • 70. At 5:21pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    "Don't forget too, you two that I believe in equal pay and wealth too ... Sid usually trots that out as a smoke screen whenever some Lib Dem nonsense is otherwise clearly visible to everyone he is trying to impress."

    Can you give an example of where I've done that?

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  • 71. At 5:22pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    66. Sid - you need to watch your PC muscle Sid, it breaks out in racism very easily. How about BBC Radfio 3 is for everyone? What exactly is middle-class white music exactly? I've never found music had race or colour.

    Does that mean my lifelong love of the blues is verboten?

    Did you deliberately misunderstand my point or are you honestly trying to defend apartheid?

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  • 72. At 5:30pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    FPTP is majoritarian; so is AV.

    "Kelvin Hopkins: Does my right honourable friend accept that the existing electoral system not only maintains the strongest possible link between individual voters and their Member of Parliament, but makes for the maximum possibility of electors choosing their government, and not leaving it to post-election dodgy deals between parties?

    Jack Straw: That is one of the many merits of the single-member constituency majoritarian system, and it is one of the reasons that has always led me wholly to oppose proportional representation, which is essentially a deceit on an electorate because manifestos have no value and the real manifesto is the subject of brokering after any election. That said, my honourable friend will know that the alternative vote is also a majoritarian system."

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  • 73. At 5:31pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    DD - can you tell me where my PC muscle has broken out into racism?

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  • 74. At 5:35pm on 02 Mar 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Looternite (38)

    I understand where you are coming from. I am also with Big sis on this one. I do not fully understand weather EtE believes everything he says himself. I understand too how he has reached his postions on much of his thinking. However, I even I don't how he thinks we might get there (not that I want what he wants). Nevertheless, I hear this Cambodia thing levelled at him so often but have no recollection on EtE himself saying that that is the society he would want?

    Further, My dad was made to work despicably hard all his life building roads like the M1 and many local bypasses in all weathers. Each year without fail about a fortnight before Christmas the gangs would get laid off. without work until the next spring, they would have to grub around for the odd days work hear or there or sign on. A great Christmas present each year. Why did he not better himself? Because the propaganda about knowing your 'working class place' had been so instilled into those men that they had actually been made to believe that they were not worth any more than what they were thrown by way of employment. In fact many of them, I suspect, underneath thought that they were being privileged when they were given a council house rent. This mindset I belive was at the very least fortunate for the government, at worst propagated purposely as we needed so much factory fodder. It was also a convenient tool for those who had, and those who still have problems with those whom they like to deem beneath them. I suspect they justify this stance by socially stereotyping folks into media images of what the working class are supposed to be. Namely, low IQ, Happy with there lot, or a member of the cast of shameless. Yes there are those people but, this is a tiny minority as we know. Facing the truth sometimes makes them posh lot angry too.

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  • 75. At 5:36pm on 02 Mar 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Somebody here is getting paranoid and needs to take a valium.

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  • 76. At 5:37pm on 02 Mar 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Name provided via email.

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  • 77. At 5:40pm on 02 Mar 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    " There is a rumour going about that if the Torys win the election."

    For some reason the Conservatives have said they would honour the recent funding settlement for the BBC, for all the biased report comming from the BBC over the last 10-20 yearsa they would be justified to close it down.

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  • 78. At 5:42pm on 02 Mar 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Ln, FjD, My father worked in accounting for a large aluminum (YES,ALUMINUM)company in Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • 79. At 5:47pm on 02 Mar 2010, vainly_here wrote:

    LM (47) I totally agree with you. Thinking of 5 analogue radios in the house and 2 in cars...
    Someone has just been broadcast saying the BBC needn't do what it available from commercial stations. So no news, then? No Radio3 because of Classic FM? No Radio1 or Radio2?

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  • 80. At 5:51pm on 02 Mar 2010, vainly_here wrote:

    TET (53) When I was at school they told us the sun would get fiercer. I should have been more sceptical and realised it wouldn't really get hotter, just that burning Kuwaiti oil wells etc. would make it see hotter.

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  • 81. At 5:51pm on 02 Mar 2010, vainly_here wrote:

    Sorry, that should have been ETE.

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  • 82. At 5:53pm on 02 Mar 2010, vainly_here wrote:

    DD (57) Not to mention "Homophobic."

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  • 83. At 5:55pm on 02 Mar 2010, capn wrote:

    re Olympic interview : £6 million = 1 Gold Medal and the rep. says "we absolutely achieved our target"

    he should get a job in Broon's govt.

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  • 84. At 5:57pm on 02 Mar 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Dav (78)

    Al loom in 'em?

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  • 85. At 6:03pm on 02 Mar 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    "re Olympic interview : £6 million = 1 Gold Medal and the rep. says "we absolutely achieved our target"

    It would be better if we cast the gold medal our selves, it would save a lot of money

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  • 86. At 6:04pm on 02 Mar 2010, capn wrote:

    re 85, then they could all have one and we'd still save money....

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  • 87. At 6:17pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    73. Sid - I already told you 66. Quote: 'It broadcasts an awful lot of middle-class white muisc' [sic]

    Define white music [I'm sure we agree there are middle classes in all ethnicities].

    You implication is that Radio 3 is for white people exclusively, cannot be enjoyed by people of different ethnicity to white, or different classes to middle. I disagree. As the Professor said, it had a point initially to fill a gap, but is less relevent now [I paraphrase from memory] and we should concentrate on integration.

    I was disappointed to hear Yasmin Alibhai Brown talk of 'we' meaning 'us Asians', still she thinks of herself as Asian first, whereas I think of her as British. Shows how multiculturalism has worked huh?

    As for the claim that the BBC needs to have more Asian presenters; I get Midlands BBC and I can tell you there are more Asian than Anglo-Saxon presenters in most areas of Midlands TV. I don't object since many of them are very attractive young women, but I think other, non-Asian, non-female, non-young people might be feeling they have quite enough already.

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  • 88. At 6:17pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Joe @ 74: EtE's utopia is very like the system that was imposed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. As I said earlier, he can correct any errors himself, but broadly that's what he wants.

    Here are some quotes:

    “The time has come to change that, to redistribute work as well as income and wealth.”

    “Indeed it is the injustice of the bougeois class constantly refusing to pick up the shovels, that the liberal bourgeoisie are blind to, because how they live, those academics, politicians, etc is a part of the problem. And without the direction of labour how CAN we get them to do proper jobs?”

    “We need a governement of people from generations of workers who did real jobs and KNOW it's time for those who do not have such work done in their lineages and haven't done it themselves, to pick up the picks.”

    “Bring back the proper jobs and make the bourgeois work shy do them.”

    “Make it so you've got to be 60 before you can publish if you come from a chattering class, toff-posh or too rich anyway, background, and 65 if you are female. Till then they can dig ditches, fill pot holes, pick rags from rubbish tips and clean trains.”

    There’s more here, too long to bore you with:


    And there’s more still – just click on his name and browse at your leisure.

    (I've left his spelling mistakes, as he's a bit funny about me correcting them. He keeps leaving his 'r's out of his bourgeoisie, for some reason.)

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  • 89. At 6:18pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Rather than cutting BBC services can't this govt. cut those stupid online banner ads pushing everything from the ID card, the photo driving licence and taxing your car or it'll get scrapped?

    How much taxpayers money is being squandered on online adverts?

    My car is taxed. I don't want an ID Card and I've just got a new driving licence photocard. You'd think fo £20 they could at least include a plastic wallet.

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  • 90. At 6:22pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    DD: Bach was white. Puccini was white. Vivaldi was white. Schubert was white. Vaughn Williams was white. Tchaikovsky was white. Wagner was white. Even White was white. Verdi was white. Mozart was white. Are you bored yet?

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  • 91. At 6:32pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Ed Miliband's loans for domestic green energy saving is like digital radio and the ID Card?

    If there was a benefit or need people would spend their own money buying them.

    So this government only wants market forces to apply sometimes?

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  • 92. At 6:35pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    90. Yes with your convoluted attempts to constantly be 'right'. Yes I accept all these were white, they are also dead, perhaps we should call it 'dead white music'?

    Nice try, but unconvincing. You need to think more deeply about multiculturalism and why it is that all multicultural societies suffer from sporadic outbursts of inter-ethnic violence despite having existed like that for centuries. India is just one example. To set up a similar society, rather than continue with the model of integration we had, was a deranged attempt by the political class to appear non-racist or even anti-racist, while all along they were and are racist. 'You lot stay there and practice your own culture and we'll prqctice ours here.' Joining in street parties at ethnic high points and painting a dot on your forehead like the middle-class, white luvvies of NewLabour like to do, doesn't make for an integrated, cohesive society.

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  • 93. At 6:38pm on 02 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    91. Lepus_Madidus - is that the market forces that subsidise nuclear out of tax payers money?

    Simplistic attempt to create something out of nothing again. Government gives out our money for a wide variety of reasons. All could be left to market forces, like leisure centres, swimming pools, theatre projects, gender workshops, the Olympics ... the list is very long.

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  • 94. At 6:41pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    In Africa they're not even different races. In Africa different tribal factions seem to like murdering and mutilating each other from time to time.

    And look at those cute Dolphins. They gang up and hound other species of dolphins to death.

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  • 95. At 6:44pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Market forces in choice of schools, hospitals and GPs?

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  • 96. At 7:05pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    1. Yeah. That was. As per usual you don't acknowledge the case against your notions of proportional representation.
    2. The Royal Opera House is heavily subsidised. It has a predominantly white middle and upper class audience. Is that a reason for not expecting them to cover their own costs?
    Lib Dem confusion as ever.
    Better talk about equality instead eh, Sid.
    Protect a bad idea that you've tried to make popular by attacking a good idea that isn't popular (yet).

    3. In one sense I sympathise, Sid. But proportional representation is far too serious, important and worthwhile a matter to be left to the Lib Dems and their silliness.
    They think they've made the idea their very own. And indeed they have. Every bad version of it.

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  • 97. At 8:17pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    DD @ 92

    Nothing convoluted, old chap. Radio 3 plays a lot of music for people who like music by dead white males (you missed that one). The BBC Asian Service puts out a lot of stuff that a different audience prefers. If you think that's PC, too bad.

    "... like the middle-class, white luvvies of NewLabour like to do ..." Sorry, you must be confusing me with someone else.

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  • 98. At 8:18pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    EtE @ 96

    Clear as mud, as usual. I really haven't got time to pick my way through that lot.

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  • 99. At 8:44pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    Well, here's mud in your eye, Sid.

    FPTP regularly selects a winner who is not the winner under majority decision making.

    S/He may simply win by a plurality, not a majority.

    If there were two extreme parties x and y and middle ground party, a, and 'a' commanded the samllest number of first preferences, then given that both x and y got less than 50 per cent of the vote and 'a' was second choice for all voters for whom x or y were in first place, then 'a' would be in a majority against both the other parties, but lose the seat.

    In this sort of case under Single Transferable Vote the votes for a in first place would be divided up between x and y according to 'a' voters' second place votes. So x or y would be chosen.
    That is not majority decision making. It is to choose the candidate who came second overall, i.e. either x or y.

    Jack Straw is wrong about that entirely.

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  • 100. At 8:53pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    I agree 100% re Jack Straw.

    re STV - you describe a single seat (I assume), which means that it amounts to AV.

    The Lib Dems would have STV in multi-member constituencies. And yes, I know that it's possible to work out anomalous voting patterns that make it look as if it's not right, particularly for small groups of seats (you regularly choose three or four - I'd go for five or six. It wouldn't be perfect - but it would be a lot better than what we've got.

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  • 101. At 8:54pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:


    Missing bracket.

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  • 102. At 9:03pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Sid 51

    That article


    that you quote is the worst Wikipedia article I've ever read.

    A plurality system is NOT equivalent to majority decison making at all. And there's an end to it.

    You need to go to the books, obviously.

    In fact almost any text book will explain the difference,

    You might try Amartya Sen's 'Collective Choice and Social Welfare' or Prasanta Pattanaik's 'Strategy and Group Choice'

    All my examples above explain the difference, y'know.

    In fact, that the FPTP system does not respect majorities, only pluralities (except of course where there is an outright majority winner - which of course is the plurality winner too), was one of the Lib Dem's main beef against FPTP when they thought of themselves as middle ground.

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  • 103. At 9:08pm on 02 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    EtE - agreed that Wikipedia is not very good - but if the system you propose is so obscure that you can't find it on the internet, then you're not going to persuade many people.

    And whether you like it or not, most people who think about different voting systems think that STV in multi-member constituencies is the best.

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  • 104. At 9:13pm on 02 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Eddie failed to keep us abreast of this:


    You that glass box photo? The govt. now own that.

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  • 105. At 10:14pm on 02 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Does this help?

    At least it's referenced!!!

    This quote:

    'Though plurality (first-past-the post) is often mistaken for majority rule, they are not the same.[1]'

    comes immediately after the article's index.

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  • 106. At 11:20pm on 02 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    52: Was I suggesting that it was? Yet there are many who have worked all their lives, in the manner you describe, but haven't experienced poverty of that kind and if we are to try to identify with all humankind, it is an experience that would benefit us all. Even you, perhaps.

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  • 107. At 09:32am on 03 Mar 2010, davmcn wrote:

    fJd 88, AL-CO-A.

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  • 108. At 09:39am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Dear Team PM,

    Here is some positive news for a change: http://www.epdonthenet.net/article.aspx?ArticleID=31869
    From the article:
    " In fact many of those CEMs exhibiting, of which there were quite a few, were positively buoyant about prospects. Most had retained all, or at least most, of their staff through the difficulties of 2009 and were now able to offer immediate capacity for their dormant customers."

    However there is now a shortage of components.

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  • 109. At 1:00pm on 03 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Sid has picked up the fact that voting theory is not well served by Wikipedia.
    This is certainly because the theoretical texts are written by professionals with a particular interest at heart.
    They are Impossibility Theorists. That is, they take seriously the theorems in mathematical logic of Arrow, Sen and Gibbard.
    (There are literally hundreds of elaborations of those theorems. One of Gibbard's theorems, is in a particularly restrictive framework so that the later theorems of Pattanaik need to be mentioned here)
    These seminal theorems purport to show that democracy is Impossible.
    Sen's Theorem and Gibbards Rights theorem purport to show that it is Impossible to have an adequate system of rights (on the one hand in the presence of unanimously agreed decisions, on the other because of rights conflicts)
    Gibbards and Pattanaiks 'strategic voting' theorems pare taken to show that honesty is Impossible in democratic elections..
    Arrows Theorem purports to show that only dictatorship is rational, democracy is Impossible.
    This theorem is crucial because the other matters, dishonesty and respecting rights are trivially 'cleared up' in a dictatorship, in that only the dictator has rights, and s/he doesn't need to lie to get his/her way!!!!
    Thus the writers on voting theory are less than keen to describe systems that they see as irretrievably flawed.
    The crucial terms here, in terms of Impossibility Theorems are RATIONALITY and HONESTY.
    In brief, the 'rationality' criterion and the 'honesty' criterion are really only violated in the restricted frame of the theorems.
    Honest voting is disallowed by those frames and some perfectly rational outcomes of voting procedures are also disallowed.
    One way of putting all this is to say that the Theorems rest on a philosophical mistake. (They do not, in their frameworks allow us to vote on the outcomes (which may be ties) but solely on the alternatives. The removal of this restriction destroys the theorems)

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  • 110. At 1:01pm on 03 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    This one I like: It's the quota system refusing a perfectly proper majority its way:
    100 voters,
    51 xPaPy
    48 yPaPx
    1 aPyPx
    If this is the set of preferences which will determine the allocation of 7 seats under the quota system, the outcome is 3 seats to the x party and two each to the other two (i.e. 2 to the y's 2 to the a's).
    In pairwise majority voting as preferences stand, x beats both a and y.
    With the 7 seats distributed according to the quota system rules, 'a' defeats both x and y in pairwise comparison in the Assembly of 7 seats.
    In other words the quota system has distorted preferences.
    One may note that if one said, well, in general 'z beating w in zPwPv is half as significant as z defeating w in zPvPw, and applied that argument to every pair from {x,a,y} then the initial voting, counting one person just like another, would still put x the overall winner.
    The representation 3 seats for x, 2 seats for y , 2 seats for a,
    distorts this strength of feeling assessment too, making 'a' stronger in this sense than x and than y.
    I spell out the details of all this at (FB)

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  • 111. At 2:44pm on 03 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    EtE - I wonder if you can think of a real-life situation where 100 voters would be voting for 7 Assembly positions? You have also contrived to have voters voting for parties rather than for individual candidates. No system is perfect (mostly because human beings are involved), but you do seem to have a penchant for highlighting possible anomalies rather than potential benefits of any system. You also glide over the fact that your preferred system ignores many voters' first preferences, in order to achieve consensus (i.e. you end up with a winners who are less disliked rather than more liked by the electorate. You also ignore the problems of transitivity.

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  • 112. At 01:22am on 04 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    As best I can understand that post:

    1. Think of it as percentages of voters.

    2. The whole point is that the system you have advocated long and hard here, the quota system represents voters poorly.

    The Assembly should be a microcosm of the electorate. Your system doesn't do that.

    3. Having hthe same fraction of members in the Assembly with aa particualr view as have that view in the general population, is presumably the aim of proportional representation.

    Instead then of quotas etc why not just require that, say i nthe case above, 51 per cent of members find PaPy, 48 per cent yPaPx and 1 per cent aPyPx.

    Then the REPRESENTATION is accurate.

    4. It's YOUR recommended system that has the distortions you mention.

    5. Voters all exhibit transitivity in preferences, as do the outcomes. What's the problem for you?

    Anyway, thanks for the comments.

    Gonna move on, now.

    F'instance there's the PRESENT Parlaiment to hang and you and FF to assure about your rights as factory workers.

    You will get the minimum wage, be assured. You'll work a 38 hour week and get 6 weeks off for the year.

    What more could you two want?

    PS The minimum wage would be the maximum wage in the equal society.

    So, lots to do, includiong persuading you two that you don't need to be frightened of majority voting.

    See ya, soon,

    I wasn't aware it was your turn do manual labour, but if it is, good luck.

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  • 113. At 3:12pm on 05 Mar 2010, Mr_Concerned wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 114. At 07:23am on 06 Mar 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    EtE (112) Give it a rest. Stalin tried this, Pol Pot tried this, and we all saw what happend to ordinary people under those regimes. No-one but you clings to the deluded belief that these were "socialist utopias".

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